The Gall of our Competitors

We are successful, in no small part, because we are 100% transparent.  If we are going to be effective at waste management the we need to let our clients look at any invoice, from any hauler, from any recycler, from any vendor, at any time.  We have no secrets. To that point, it is critical to be as up-front as possible.

It is equally important to let the market dictate the cost of the haul.  We evaluate your situation and then put it out to bid with all of the reputable haulers in your city.  The low bid gets the work and you get the low bid.  The bid is all inclusive and that is the price you will pay for the balance of the contract. When we say all inclusive we mean it covers;

  • The transportation cost associated with paying the driver.
  • The transportation cost associated with the fuel charges.
  • The transportation cost associated with mileage and depreciation of hauler’s equipment.
  • Any applicable taxes from City, State, Franchise, and Local Governments.
  • The rate per ton charged by the landfill or transfer station.
  • Any applicable taxes from City, State, Franchise, or Local Governments.
  • Any environmental fees our hauler is charged.

In other words…the price we quote you is the price you will be paying.  I bring this up as last week one our biggest competitors had the unbelievable gall to send a letter to all of their clients notifying them that they will be receiving an increase in their fuel costs.  An increase in their fuel costs?  What is the point of their contract if they can create adjunct profit centers whenever they need more dough?  But I digress.

The reason this is such a blatant rip-off is located in the text of the letter and backed up by their web site.  The letter states (we got this from more than 1 prospect), “On July 1, our Fuel Surcharge index will increase from .055% to .062% for each $.01 change in price as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.”  Their web site supports this with, “Our standard fuel surcharge calculation is tied directly to the national average price of diesel fuel as reported weekly by the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy (“EIA/DOE”) in its Weekly Retail On-Highway Diesel Prices Index.”  Hmm…I smell a rat.

The very same day our competitor sent this letter to their clients, the very same EIA/DOE published a report under this headline, “Diesel Prices Fall 5.3 Cents to $4.004 per Gallon.”  The first paragraph read, “The price per gallon of diesel fuel dropped at its steepest level in nearly five months, according to data from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).”  So, I am not the smartest guy in the world, but it sure seems to me that while diesel rates are dropping precipitously…you are being told the rates are increasing and you will have to pay more.  Here is the entire article; http://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/diesel_prices_fall_5.3_cents_to_4.004_per_gallon/

Why, oh why…do you tolerate this?  Look at your bill.  Look closely.  Where are all those savings you we promised?  How much is your waste management firm paying to have your trash removed?  They said you were “partners”…are you really partners if they do not tell you how much they are making on the deal?  All you have to do is ask yourself this question, “When is the last time you received a letter from your waste management company notifying you that diesel prices were dropping and your bill would reflect this cost savings?”  Think about it.

Leaving money on the Trashpile

I find it fascinating in this era of belt-tightening and corporate reduction that so many of our prospects overlook the one “double profit-center” that works for them without any extra expenditure.  Companies make a big deal about reducing their spend on toner and power and paper and data downloading and the cafeteria.  Some companies go as far as to hire third party vendors to help them reduce all these costs.  However, it is rare the executive who looks at his dumpsters and questions the value of their contents.

The examples are legion, but I will focus on an easy one; used oil products.  Three years ago end user companies were paying tankers to haul off their excess brown and yellow grease as well as their used motor and machine oil.  The going rate was roughly $75.00/month/commodity, so a company with 10 stations would be dropping $750.00/month to be rid of their “problem.”  If these companies ever evaluated the situation they would realize that the people picking up the grease and oil were running all receivable businesses.  The were getting paid to pick up the liquids then turning around and selling the untreated liquid for a profit.

As the DIY’ers in the grease world started to convert their vehicles or home heating systems to grease or used oil, the market changed.  No longer was a fee involved, in fact,  these people were doing it for free and in some cases, paying a small amount back to the corporation in order to take the discarded fluids. This drastically changed the model and the bidding war was underway.  Today, yellow grease sells for about $1.03/lb. with the brown grease being tossed in for free if you want the business of yellow grease.  There is an over-demand for the yellow grease in three markets:

1.) Manufacturing biodiesel

2.) Manufacturing cosmetics

3.) Spraying the grease on the dry food in feedlots to fatten the cattle

Motor and machine oils are wanted to power heating systems, and companies such as NAPA Auto Parts are outfitting the garages where they are the preferred vendor, with heaters that run the used oil, thus saving their purveyors thousands of dollars in heating bills.  A handful of companies are realizing the value of their spent fluids and beginning to understand that they can become more self-sustaining just by converting some of their systems to the alternative fuels they are discarding today.

Tires, wood, metals, oils, shrink wrap, and compost are among the many disposables that have intrinsic value where a seller’s market really does exist.  Our competitors all hope you will not see those markets but it is the opinion at Lincoln Waste that exposing, opening and sharing the proceeds from the sale of these products is not only the ethical from a business standpoint but necessary from a green perspective.